Compensation in criminal damages
The victim of crime is entitled to compensation for the caused damage. Compensation for damages can be claimed from the offender with added interest from the date of the crime. It is important to retain all receipts of expenses. It is more simple to justify expenses by means of receipts. An expert’s evaluation of the monetary value of damaged property is good evidence on the amount of damages.
Video of Compensations to crime victims, State Treasury
Most often the claims for damages may involve, for example
- Stolen or damaged property
- Expenses related to the treatment of injuries and illnesses
- Physical pain and aches
- Mental suffering
- Permanent disadvantage
- Loss of earnings
- Travel expenses
- Personal excesses of insurance policies
- Legal costs
- In case of death, e.g. Funeral costs and loss of livelihood.
The court can order the offender to pay compensation. The payment of ordered compensation can be agreed directly with the offender or they can be asked to be recovered by a bailiff. A copy of the court’s verdict can be obtained from the district court office free of charge, which can be delivered together with the application for enforcement matters to the local enforcement agency. In some cases, compensation can also be paid by the State Treasury or Kela. It is also worth checking the possibilities of compensation of voluntary insurance policies from you own insurance company.
Being paid compensation depends on the case. Victim Support Finland can help you in the clarifying matters. You can leave a contact request and we will contact you as soon as possible. You can also ask for advice in compensation matters from Victim Support Finland’s legal advice 0800 161 177 Mon – Thurs (5 pm – 7 pm).
Compensation paid by the government in criminal damages
In some cases, the victim can get compensation from the government for damages caused by a crime. State compensation is however subsidiary. This means that all other compensation that the victim has received is deducted from the state compensation. Such compensations include e.g. compensations, which the offender has paid you as well as insurance compensatory payments. Receiving compensation usually requires that the victim has claimed for compensation from the offender in court. If the crime has not been settled or the offender has not been caught, the state may pay compensation without the verdict of the Court of Justice. A victim can also apply for compensation directly from the State Treasury, even if he/she has not tried to claim it from the offender first.
The state mainly pays compensation for personal injuries. These include, for example, medical expenses, permanent disadvantage and compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, compensation can also be received for mental suffering.
State compensation is claimed from the State Treasury. The following documents are attached to the application:
- A copy of the Court of Justice’s verdict
- The police’s preliminary investigation report or other reliable statement on the sequence of events
- Statement on the extent of damages
- Medical certificates
- Receipts of all expenses caused by the crime.
Application forms are available from the State Treasury, Kela and from the police. More information and online form can be found on the State Treasury website.
The State Treasury’s compensation decision may be different to the court’s verdict. This may occur in particular when it is a case of compensation for pain and suffering, permanent harm or mental suffering. If the State Treasury has not paid all the compensation ordered by the court, the victim can have the remaining amount recovered from the offender via an enforcement agency. If the victim is not satisfied with the State Treasury’s compensation decision, it can be appealed against to the Insurance Court.
Compensation must be claimed from the State Treasury within three years from when a legal verdict has been issued for the compensation case. if the case is not handled in court (e.g. The offender is under the age of 15 or the offender cannot otherwise be prosecuted), compensation can be claimed within ten years. The average processing time of an application is 10-12 months. The State Treasury does not pay interest or more than what the court has ruled.